Name: Afterburner (US) / Snipe (Non-US)
Series: "European" Generation 1/Generation 2
Function: Technicians Master
Alt Mode: F-104 Jet
Height: 4cm Length: 11.5cm Width: 7.5cm
A blue F-104 with dull yellow lightning markings all over him, Snipe has a single black engine underneath the tail and a transparent yellow canopy. The canopy is a fluorescent yellow that doesn't match the lightning at all. The blue and flat yellow work together quite well, mind you. There are various stickers on this plane, including a silver one in the centre of the fuselage bearing a G2 Decepticon logo and yellow dog heads on either side of the tail, which has winglets on top (bearing lighting stickers). The theme is a little muddled - I'm not sure what lightning and dogs have to do with each other - but overall Snipe works visually (even if the canopy is a little out of place here).
The left wing has a purple G2 Decepticon stamp, with the word Decepticon also present. This is messily stamped over the lightning, so I'm glad it's a dark purple not a bright colour. Still, this wasn't the best place for the stamp, and along with the clashing yellows it gives the impression of a hastily planned jet mode.
The jet itself is actually fairly well designed, with air intakes underneath the front of each wing, moulded panel seams all over and even ribs on the canopy. The front wheel is moulded in place, the rear wheels fold up and are bets left that way since Snipe will lay flat with them retracted and slope forwards with them deployed. Other than the rear wheels, I have no real complaints with the mould. There's no play value but for a five dollar toy I don't expect much of this jet.
Snipe got the worst paint job of the Skyscorchers, and his wheels don't quite work, but neither of these succeed in ruining the jet mode. It's reasonable but by no means spectacular.
TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE
Remove his silver gun from underneath, swing out the legs, rotate his fuselage, pivot the wings down onto his back which should reveal the head, clip the backplate into place, fold down his hands, stow the tail, flip up his feet. Finally give Snipe his gun.
Height: 8.5cm Width: 7cm.
Snipe is still mainly blue and thankfully there's far less of the dull yellow, which is confined to his kneecaps. The shoulders are silver, matching his gun. The head is gold with a transparent yellow t shaped face, which works very well as a lightpipe and matches the canopy now on his chest. The colour scheme his is far more unified than the jet colours, even if the silver shoulders look a little weird.
The wings form a pretty good cape, to which his upper arms connect to. To allow the legs to stow in jet mode, there are gaps between these shoulders and the chest (the plane nose), and these gaps bug me. On the other hand, there's a blue beam between his feet, while the rest of his legs have about 1cm gap between them. The end result of all of this is a disjointed robot form, and sadly there's nothing outstanding to offset the weaknesses. The backplate is held in place by the tightness of the transformation joints rather than the friction of it's clips so it can slip out of place easier than it should.
Snipe's poseability is very limited. His elbows lift up and down, and that's part of the transformation. Granted, this is similar to the articulation of the other Skyscorchers, but that doesn't really change the fact that this is a disappointing robot mode. The best thing here is the lightpipe, which is cool but not enough to carry the toy.
Snipe & Afterburner differ in their packaging and the location of the G2 stamp - the American version sports it on the wing while the European Snipe wears his on the tail. I prefer the (European) name Snipe simply because it's unique, and not a recycled G1 name.
Snipe has some nice elements, such as the lightpipe in robot mode and plane seams in jet mode, but ultimately there's a lot of little things that aren't quite right, which is a shame because there's potential here. I do still like the toy, but I wouldn't recommend an extensive search for him - 4/10